Sunday, March 3, 2024

Things to do in Alberta with family 2023: Family-Friendly Adventures

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Alberta, a province in Western Canada, is known for its awe-inspiring natural beauty and diverse attractions. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the vibrant cityscapes, Alberta offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that promise unforgettable experiences. Here, we explore a myriad of things to do with your family in this splendid province.

Things to do in Alberta with family 

1. Banff National Park

Embark on an adventure to Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park. The park offers spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies, turquoise glacier lakes, and abundant wildlife. Families can enjoy a wide range of activities, including hiking, camping, and horseback riding in the summer, and skiing or snowboarding in the winter. Don’t forget to take a scenic gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views.

2. Jasper National Park

Continuing your journey through the Canadian Rockies, visit Jasper National Park, the largest national park in the Rockies. Take a thrilling walk on the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored observation platform overlooking the Sunwapta Valley. The Miette Hot Springs, located within the park, is a perfect spot to relax with the family after a day of exploring.

3. Royal Tyrrell Museum

Situated in Drumheller, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is a must-visit for dinosaur enthusiasts. As Canada’s only museum dedicated to paleontology, it houses one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs. Participate in their hands-on educational programs like fossil casting, making it an enriching experience for kids and adults alike.

4. Calgary Stampede

If your visit aligns with the Calgary Stampede, be sure to partake in this annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival. Known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” it offers ten days of exciting activities, including chuckwagon races, live music, carnival games, and much more, providing an entertaining cultural experience for the whole family.

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5. Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo, located in the heart of Calgary, is one of Canada’s top tourist destinations. Home to over 900 animals and various themed zones such as ‘Destination Africa’ and ‘Eurasia,’ this place provides an adventurous and educational experience. The zoo’s Prehistoric Park, where life-size dinosaur replicas reside, is a favorite among kids.

6. West Edmonton Mall

A trip to Alberta wouldn’t be complete without visiting North America’s largest shopping mall. But the West Edmonton Mall is more than just a shopping center – it’s an entertainment complex featuring a large indoor amusement park, a waterpark, a skating rink, an aquarium, and more. It’s a place where families can spend an entire day having fun.

7. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a fascinating look into the culture and way of life of the Plains People. Through interactive displays and exhibits, families can learn how buffalo hunts were conducted thousands of years ago. The site also offers educational programs and nature trails for a comprehensive visit.

8. Elk Island National Park

For wildlife lovers, Elk Island National Park is a great destination. As a conservation area for bison, elk, and over 250 bird species, this park is perfect for wildlife viewing. Enjoy a family picnic, go stargazing, or take a paddle in Astotin Lake for an immersive nature experience.

9. Fort Edmonton Park

Step back in time at Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history museum. The park showcases Edmonton’s history from the fur trade era to the 1920s. With historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and vintage vehicles, it’s an engaging way for families to learn about the region’s past.

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10. Icefields Parkway

Drive along the Icefields Parkway, regarded as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Stretching over 200 kilometers, this highway offers stunning views of glaciers, waterfalls, and the Rocky Mountains. Stop at Columbia Icefield and take the Ice Explorer ride to Athabasca Glacier for an unforgettable experience.

11. Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake, a town situated on the shores of the lake with the same name, is a popular destination for family fun. With a sandy beach, clear waters, and a range of water sports available, it’s an ideal spot for a sunny summer day. The town also offers an indoor aquatic center and an ice rink, ensuring entertainment regardless of the weather.

12. Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

Originally created for the 1988 Winter Olympics, Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park provides world-class trails for cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and hiking. Equipment rental is available on-site, making it a convenient location for family outdoor activities.

13. Reptile World

Located in Drumheller, Reptile World is an exciting place for kids to get up close with a variety of reptiles, including snakes, turtles, and crocodiles. The live demonstrations and feeding sessions are both thrilling and educational.

14. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Experience the life of early Ukrainian immigrants in Canada at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. This open-air museum features over 30 historic structures and costumed interpreters depicting life in the early 20th century. Participate in traditional activities like bread baking for an interactive learning experience.

15. Northern Lights Viewing

Lastly, if you’re visiting in winter and staying in the northern part of the province, don’t miss the chance to witness the enchanting Northern Lights. Cold Lake, Fort McMurray, and Wood Buffalo National Park are some of the best spots to view this spectacular natural phenomenon.

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Alberta is a province that effortlessly blends natural beauty with cultural richness and historical significance, making it a perfect family destination. From outdoor adventures in the national parks to educational trips to museums, from the thrill of witnessing live rodeos to the joy of leisurely shopping in North America’s largest mall, Alberta has something for everyone. It’s a place where families can create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember, these are just some of the countless attractions and activities Alberta has to offer. The province’s vast expanse and diverse landscapes leave plenty more to be discovered on your family adventure.

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